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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

244       HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

as a whole, a brief encyclopedic outline of all knowledge.   In the
years following the publication of the Janua, Comenius continued
his indefatigable labours in the cause of education, but the centre
of his interest changed markedly from the method of instruction
to the content.  As a complement to t&$ Janua Linguarum he began
to prepare for a Janua Rerum : not languages but things became
his main concern.  The dominant principle of this new work had
already been indicated in the Great Didactic and in the arrange-
ment of subjects in the Janua Linguarum.    It was to give a
systematic presentation of the fundamental ideas relating to God,
nature and art in encyclopedic form, such that each subject treated
should lead on to the subsequent subjects, and that all the subjects
should constitute a rational whole grounded on the laws of thought.
On his view of education, the acquisition of universal knowledge,
or pansophia, as he called it, was an essential part of the educational
aim.   " But do not imagine," he says (in the Great Didactic),
" that we demand an exact or thorough knowledge of all the arts
and sciences from all men.   This would neither be useful of itself,
nor on account of the shortness of life can it be attained by any-
one.   It is the principles, the causes and the purposes of all the
main facts about the world that we wish everyone to learn.   For
we must do all in our power to ensure that no man in his journey
through life will ever encounter anything so unknown to him
that he cannot pass a sober judgment upon it, and turn it to its
proper use without serious error."*  'This Janua Rerum was never
completed, but for the rest of his life Comenius remained faithful *
to his pansophic ideal.

It was the prospect of getting this ideal realized which finally
led him to sever his connection with Poland. He had already
received an invitation to undertake the direction of educational
reform in Sweden, and had refused it. But a more tempting
invitation came to him from the English Parliament through
Samuel Hartlib, and he came over to London in 1641 in the
expectation of getting a pansophic college established. But the
times were unpropitious. A considerable number of literary
and scientific men were eager to see the foundation of a college
for the advancement of science after the manner of the " Solomon's
House " which Bacon had outlined in the New Atlantis, and the
funds necessary for the institution of this college, with Comenius
* Keatinge, p. 70.